UK Knife Crime Hits Record High Under Tories, as Over 50K Offences Logged in One Year

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures during a visit to Northamptonshire Police Headquarters in Northampton on September 24, 2020. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau / POOL / AFP) (Photo by STEFAN ROUSSEAU/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
STEFAN ROUSSEAU/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Knife crime in Britain has doubled in the previous six years, rising above 50,000 incidents in a one-year period in England and Wales for the first time in the recorded history.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that in the year leading up to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s imposition of the first coronavirus lockdown, crimes involving a knife or a sharp weapon rose by six per cent, up from 47,388 to 50,019. This latest figure is more than double the 23,945 offences recorded in 2014, the point at which the general historical trend of crime falling went into reverse.

The report found that 44 per cent of the knife crimes (22,012) were violent assaults, and 44 per cent (21,961) were robberies, which rose from 18,518 to 20,196 in the year leading up to March of 2020

Homicides, in general, rose by seven per cent, with 695 people losing their lives in violent attacks. Figures from the Home Office revealed that during the same time period, there were 4,344 threats to kill with a knife, representing a 22 per cent jump over the year before.

As Breitbart London has reported in the past, murders have not risen as dramatically as other crimes not because streets are getting safer, but because urban hospitals are becoming more adept at saving the lives of people who would have otherwise died of their wounds, even in the recent past. A 2018 study found that improving hospital care had the impact of converting hundreds of would-be murders into attempted murders or other lesser crimes instead.

The rise of serious, non-murder crimes illustrate that change. The latest ONS figures reveal sexual assaults with knives rose by over 25 per cent, from 156 to 196, however, rapes committed with knives fell by 8 per cent to 483.

The Conservative government’s minister for crime and policing, Kit Malthouse told The Times: “Too many young lives are being needlessly lost. We are working closely with the police and others to stop this senseless bloodshed, particularly as Covid restrictions are eased over coming months.

“We are making sure the police have the resources and support they need, including bolstering their ranks with 20,000 new officers. At the same time, the government is investing millions into Violence Reduction Units to tackle the root causes of violent crime, while our £200 million Youth Endowment Fund supports vital projects that steer young people away from a life of crime.”

Nevertheless, the Conservatives have been in power — at first in coalition and then governing alone — for over a decade, during which time this recent six-year crime surge wholly took place.

Under consecutive Conservative governments between 2010 and 2018, the number of officers in the country fell by over 21,000 in England and Wales, meaning that despite “bolstering” the ranks with 20,000 additional cops, it will still be lower than when the Tories came into power.

The period of Conservative rule has also seen an increased emphasis placed on the policing of so-called hate offences, with police recording some 120,000 non-crime hate incidents since the implementation of the scheme in 2015.

Last week, a police force in Merseyside embarked on a public “hate crime awareness event”, in which they appeared in a local car park with a van that wrongly stated: “Being Offensive is an Offence”.

In response, Brexit leader Nigel Farage questioned: “Are there no problems with gun or knife crime in Merseyside then?”

Mr Farage has long decried the focus on political correctness as opposed to actual policing of violent crime, saying in 2018: “Political correctness has directly led to the murder rate going up in London,” pointing to London Mayor Sadiq Khan and then-Prime Minister Theresa May’s focus on “hate crime”.

Perhaps one of the reasons why the Conservative governments have so far failed to meaningfully tackle key issues to base voters such as migration and knife crime has been — with the exception of Mr Farage in recent years — the lack of any credible opposition party to hold them to account for their failings.

An article from Samuel Earle in the New Republic this week noted that during the 200-year history of the Conservative Party, only four of the nineteen leaders who stood for elections failed to win at least one time. Conversely, the Labour Party, which was founded in 1900, only four leaders have won an election.

“Rarely has a political party wielded so much power, for so long, with so little accountability,” Earle noted, add: “If elections in Britain tend to take one of two forms, “kick them out” or “let’s keep going,” the Conservative Party’s trick is to appear as the answer to both, as it suits: the brave challengers of the status quo and its brave defenders, always rescuing the nation from a Labour threat that never quite materializes.”

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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